- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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LAS VEGAS -- Although the focus of the week has been on Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez showdown at the MGM Grand, a lot of other stuff has been going on, especially with so many of Golden Boy’s fighters in town for the fight. Here’s a look at the latest:
• Part of Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer’s plans this week was to get closer to finalizing a deal for welterweight titlist Adrien Broner to face mandatory challenger and former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana. The fight is supposed to headline a Dec. 14 Showtime pay-per-view card at the MGM Grand. Schaefer is now convinced it will get done after the fighters nearly came to blows on Thursday night at the Shawn Porter-Julio Diaz card.
“Maidana stood up and walked over to Broner during the undercard and I knew I better stand up and be right there,” Schaefer said. “I could tell this is not going to be a 'nice to see you' conversation.”
Schaefer was in the middle of the confrontation that began when Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) told Broner (27-0, 22 KOs), “Let’s fight,” to which Broner responded, “Let’s do it.”
“It got very heated and Maidana almost threw a punch,” Schaefer said. “Broner said, ‘I don’t want to wait until December, let’s get it on now. But we have to wait to December so let’s get [the deal] done.’ I’m gonna get it done. It’s a helluva matchup. Maidana wants to knock his head off. Both fighters made it clear to me they want to fight each other. That spark was lit [Thursday] night."
• Welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan are in town with their teams, and Schaefer said a deal for them to meet “will get done.” Assuming he’s right, the fight will take place Dec. 7 (Showtime) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., not Dubai, which had been a possibility.
I talked to Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) and he said he was anxious for the deal to be finalized. Schaefer said he met this week with Alexander adviser Al Haymon as well as Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) and his team and is in the process of working out the particulars.
“What we need to work out is the financial stuff,” Schaefer said. “Devon has the title and feels he deserves the most money. But Khan has the multifight deal with Showtime, so he has the TV date and he thinks he deserves more money. I think it should be a 50-50 split and I will try to get that done.”
• Interim lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs), who won his belt by decision in an epic July 27 slugfest against Nihito Arakawa, is out for the rest of the year. I ran into Figueroa the other night and he said the hands he hurt in the fight would keep him out. He said he would let the hands heal and look to return in early 2014 to defend his belt. By that time he likely will be the full titleholder since Broner eventually will vacate it and stay at welterweight, where he also has a title.
Schaefer said he thought it was good for Figueroa to rest after such a brutal fight.
“It was quite a slugfest. He’s a young kid, so there’s no rush,” Schaefer said. “Let his hands heal, let him rest after that fight and first quarter of next year he will be back when his hands are 100 percent.”
• Junior welterweight contender Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 KOs) of Montreal has signed a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy, Schaefer said. Jean is the mandatory challenger for titlist Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KOs), who is also promoted by Golden Boy. The signing means they will likely be able to avoid a purse bid and make the fight, which has been ordered. Schaefer said he will find a spot to put the fight on before the end of the year.